WACO — Alyssa Ayers has high expectations.
After placing sixth at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association State Championships as a freshman, the Lampasas sophomore returned to the meet Friday.
Competing against the sport’s elite, Ayers delivered an impressive performance, placing third in the Class 4A 114-pound weight class.
While a bronze medal would serve as validation for most, Ayers simply sees it as motivation.
“I’m definitely proud of myself for the improvement that I’ve made,” she said, “but I’m not satisfied with the results of the meet.
“I think I can do more next year, do better and place higher.”
Ayers, who broke three regional records en route to state, fell five pounds shy of second place, totaling 770 pounds, producing a 280-pound squat, 190-pound bench press and a 300-pound deadlift.
Her bench press was the heaviest among the 15 competitors despite complications.
“I got red-lighted on my opener,” Ayers said, “so that didn’t go as planned, and my second and third attempts had to be moved down by five pounds.
“But overall, I think I gave it everything I had.”
Ayers was not the only area athlete to emerge from the meet with a medal.
Gatesville junior Alayna Washington also captured a medal with a fifth-place showing in the 123-pound division. She entered the meet ranked 12 th in her weight class.
Although she is pleased with the outcome, winning was never a priority.
“My main goal was just to get a personal record in each lift,” Washington said. “I wasn’t even worried about getting a medal.
“I just happened to do really good, and it got me a medal.”
Washington finished with a 755-pound total, producing identical 300-pound lifts in the squat and deadlift, while hoisting a 155-pound bench press. The squat was a personal record for Washington, and the deadlift tied her personal best.
Washington was joined by a pair of teammates at the meet as Kylie Rystad finished 11th in the 114-pound division (250 squat, 135 bench press, 250 deadlift), while Savannah Ford did not place after bombing out on the squat.
Regardless of individual outcomes, Gatesville head coach Jason Moffett hopes sending three lifters to state will benefit the program.
“Maybe this will inspire some of the girls in the halls who aren’t lifting,” he said. “So, I’m going to shout out to everybody I see and let them know how good these girls did.
“Hopefully, we can continue to build the team as a result.”
Salado qualified multiple lifters for state as well.
Dorislynn Edmondson, a sophomore, delivered the top showing for the Lady Eagles, placing 12th in the 181-pound division with a 320-pound squat, 150-pound bench press — a personal record — and 330-pound deadlift for an 800-pound total.
Edmondson’s senior teammate Reginia Deen was not as fortunate, failing to place in the 132-pound division.
Nevertheless, Salado head coach Troy Ramsey feels the season was a success.
“Just making it to state says a whole lot about these girls and the hard work they’ve put in,” he said. “They put in hours and hours, and for me it’s just fun to see them compete and have a good time.”